The Queensland Government has recently made the decision to enact legislation to end the legal effect of Certificates of Title (title deeds) issued with respect to land in Queensland effective as at 1 October, 2019.
The Government came to this decision as only around eleven percent of Queensland properties still had a paper title issued.
Queensland has operated an electronic titling system since 1994, however, a paper title deed could still be obtained at the request of the registered owner. This will no longer be possible from 1 October 2019.
The primary purpose associated with obtaining a paper Certificate of Title was to prevent further dealings with the land from being lodged (such as a transfer, lease or mortgage) without the paper Certificate being deposited with that dealing.
A secondary purpose was that the paper Certificate of Title could be held by a lender or charge holder as security against a loan. This will no longer be effective security.
From 1 October 2019, the paper Certificate of Title will no longer need to be produced to enable dealings with land to be lodged and registered. This will be of particular benefit to anyone trying to sell a property or deal with a deceased estate where the original Certificate of Title cannot be located. Previously an application to dispense would have had to be lodged at considerable expense to the family.
If you hold a paper Certificate of Title, you may retain it for historical or sentimental reasons if you so wish. It will no longer be necessary to hand over the Certificate of Title if you sell or mortgage your property.
Hand in hand with the abolition of Certificates of Title in Queensland has come more stringent requirements for the witnessing of Land Title documents. The witness must now verify the identity of the person signing the document, and also ascertain that they are the person entitled to sign the document. Further Justices of the Peace must keep records for seven years of the documents they used to identify the person signing, along with details of the document/s signed. Accordingly, it will no longer be a simple process to have your signature witnessed on a Land Title document without having sufficient paperwork and documents on your person to enable such verification.
Disclaimer: This publication is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. We are unable to ensure the information is current and there is no guarantee in relation to accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content of this publication. The views and/or opinions expressed in this publication is that of the author and may not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of RHC Solicitors.
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